Region One Ballot box flooded, visibility of ballots likely affected

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One ballot box from Region One was found filled with water on Wednesday morning as a result of a hole in the container which caused rainwater to get into the box over the last month. This is likely to affect the visibility of ballots and other materials contained in the box.

Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Yolanda Ward told the media at the Arthur Chung Conference Center that the discovery was made when the container was opened to start the recount process.

“What happened there is that upon inspection we found that the container that it was stored in, there was a hole right where that box was stored, apparently from the drippings through that container, it would have gotten into the ballot box,” Ward noted.

She said the water was drained from the box 1095. It is unclear how many persons voted at the polling station but it is possible that the visibility of the votes and documents will be affected.

“I am not sure how visible the contents of that box will be, it will only be determined when the box is actually opened,” the PRO said.

Guyanese cast their votes using a pencil to mark their X next to the party of their choice.

The recount process started on Wednesday morning after a two-hour delay.

The delay, according to Ward, was due to the heightened security at the Arthur Chung Conference Center.

She said systems will be put in place to ensure this does not happen again on Thursday.

“…later in the day I can provide an update as to what arrangements can be in place for tomorrow to ensure that party agents arrive early, to ensure that they go through that security check and to ensure that we have a prompt 8 O’ Clock start,” Ward noted.

There was also an issue with one party official being unable to locate their key to the container with ballot for boxes from South Georgetown in Region Four.

Another issue was experienced in Region Three where chains were on a container which did not belong to any political party.

Those chains were eventually cut by GECOM.

“No party owned the locks and chains on those containers and we had to cut those chains,” she said.

The recount process along with the opening of containers and ballot boxes are observed by political party agents and electoral observers.

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